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Léon: The Professional

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

France

1994

Rated R • 1h 51m

Director Luc Besson

Starring Jean Reno, Natalie Portman, Gary Oldman, Danny Aiello

Genre Crime, Drama, Action

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Léon, the top hit man in New York, has earned a rep as an effective "cleaner". But when his next-door neighbors are wiped out by a loose-cannon DEA agent, he becomes the unwilling custodian of 12-year-old Mathilda. Before long, Mathilda's thoughts turn to revenge, and she considers following in Léon's footsteps.

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63

The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by

Takes its viewers on a bouncing high-wire act between intense violence and sugar-sweet tenderness, with some light-hearted comedy along the way.
90

Washington Post by Hal Hinson

Oldman is the least inhibited actor of his generation, and as this deranged detective, he keeps absolutely nothing in reserve.
75

ReelViews by James Berardinelli

With some surprisingly strong character interaction, there's a lot to like about this movie, at least for those willing to look beyond all the bloodshed.
50

Chicago Reader by Jonathan Rosenbaum

The sheer oddness of the New York world constructed for this film--where cops and crooks are literally interchangeable, and Oldman and Danny Aiello are stranded in roles that pick over the leavings of earlier parts--ultimately seems at once too deranged and too mechanical.
78

Austin Chronicle by Marc Savlov

Besson's visuals are, as always, vibrant and decidedly European. He fills the frames with odd-angled shots and alarming riots of color that catch you off-balance.
70

Time by Richard Schickel

This is a Cuisinart of a movie, mixing familiar yet disparate ingredients, making something odd, possibly distasteful, undeniably arresting out of them. [5 Dec 1994, p. 93]

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